News: Candoco Dance Company to perform on Strictly Come Dancing

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Candoco Dance Company in rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing

Candoco Dance Company will become the first contemporary dance company to perform on Strictly Come Dancing when they open the results show on Sunday 25 November. The renowned contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers will perform a brand new dance choreographed by former judge Arlene Phillips to David Bowie’s classic Life on Mars, alongside thirteen of the programme’s professional dancers.

Arlene Phillips, who has previously collaborated with Candoco on the outdoor dance performance You and I Know, said:

“When I was asked by Candoco if I would be interested in working with the company on a project linking them together with some of the series-regular professionals in a unique piece, I was instantly intrigued. Admiring the Candoco artists and BBC Pros as I do, I quickly said yes, but soon realised it was going to be quite a complex undertaking. The first question I asked myself was how would I unite two groups of dancers that come from very different dance disciplines? Candoco dancers are trained in a contemporary style, whereas the Pros are trained in Latin and Ballroom. David Bowie’s Life on Mars became the chosen track because of its mystery, both musically and lyrically. My vision is that the dancers are drawn together by a strange force from across the universe; fighting, playing, loving. Working closely with the programme’s Creative Director of Choreography Jason Gilkison and Trent Whiddon through a workshop process of improvisation and sharing of genres, we could all move forward together as one.”

Established in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE and Adam Benjamin, Candoco Dance Company positions itself at the forefront of current and future thinking around contemporary dance and disability-inclusion, and holds an internationally-recognised reputation as a world leader in inclusive practice as best practice.

The company’s Artistic Co-Directors, Ben Wright and Charlotte Darbyshire, joined the company earlier this year, taking over from Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado who stepped down after a decade. Charlotte Darbyshire was herself a founder member of Candoco and, together, the new artistic co-directors remain curious about what dance can be, who gets to do it, where it takes place and why it matters.

Charlotte Darbyshire said:

“We are motivated by a shared belief that artists with different abilities, perspectives and experiences enrich our art form. Through our bold and distinctive productions and rigorous learning programme, we offer our audiences, participants and collaborating artists, a diverse range of dance experiences, of the highest quality.”

Photos: Candoco Dance Company in rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing © Camilla Greenwell

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